After a 2015 fourth-quarter performance that was slightly below par, Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, revealed they would be looking at strategic alternatives such as staffing cuts, global office closures, and selling certain non-strategic assets to generate revenue of at least one billion US dollars.
Speaking at Morgan Stanley’s technology conference, Yahoo’s CFO, Ken Goldman, confirmed that the company was preparing to sell off anything from one billion to three billion US dollars worth of non-core assets, including property and patents, as reported by Reuters.
There’s another rumour doing the rounds alleging that Yahoo is considering selling its search business. CTFN, the financial news site, reported that last week Yahoo began sending non-disclosure agreements to potential buyers. The implications of this aren’t clear but we do know that the search side of Yahoo’s business is a combination of their own content and technology, coupled with Bing and a little Google around the edges. While Yahoo’s unlikely to sell their Gemini platform, which provides advertising on static and mobile platforms delivering native as well as search ads, it’s hard to predict what else might be sold.
Search is a core asset for Yahoo and, during the fourth-quarter financial announcement, CEO Mayer talked about the restructure of Yahoo’s advertising and consumer operations and simplification measures to produce a smaller and more streamlined product portfolio. This should emphasise Yahoo’s core strengths and provide a better focus, execution and value to users, advertisers and shareholders alike. The plan is to reorganise advertising assets into two separate entities which are Gemini and BrightRoll. Consumer business will centre on the seven key areas of:
CEO Mayer added that Yahoo couldn’t win the hearts and minds of its customers if their product portfolio was complex and fragmented.
Based on the above information, the rumours that Yahoo might sell the search side of its business are probably unfounded but it’s possible that the entire company could be sold either privately or to one of the interested media companies.